I talk a lot about seeing older clients post cancer treatment and seeing the amazing youth deriving benefits of resistance exercise.
I don't need studies to make me believe in what I see with my own eyes every day. But never hurts to spread with word with cold hard research. Gretchen Reynolds from the New York Times reported on a new ground breaking study that tickles my fancy. So take a look at the full article. Here's an excerpt.
Consider the results of a stirring study published last month in the journal The Physician and Sportsmedicine. For it, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh recruited 40 competitive runners, cyclists and swimmers. They ranged in age from 40 to 81, with five men and five women representing each of four age groups: 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and 70-plus. All were enviably fit, training four or five times a week and competing frequently. Several had won their age groups in recent races.
They completed questionnaires detailing their health and weekly physical activities. Then the researchers measured their muscle mass, leg strength and body composition, determining how much of their body and, more specifically, their muscle tissue was composed of fat. Other studies have found that as people age, they not only lose muscle, but the tissue that remains can become infiltrated with fat, degrading its quality and reducing its strength.
There was little evidence of deterioration in the older athletes’ musculature, however. The athletes in their 70s and 80s had almost as much thigh muscle mass as the athletes in their 40s, with minor if any fat infiltration
I've believed the fountain of youth is maintaining muscle mass. This study goes to show that you can exercise and have the body of someone 20 years younger. We need to adapt our ideas of what aging means and start seeing that having bodies that fall apart is a function of choice and not pre-determined.